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Z.M.D. - ZOMBIES OF MASS DESTRUCTION -2008
Writer: Kevin Grevioux
Pencils: Geraldo Borges
Inks: Jimmy Reyes, David Rivera, Tony Kordos
Colors: Andrew Dalhouse
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Cover Art: Paul Ballard
Publisher: Red 5 Comics
I could give you the short version of this review -
Hmm. Not bad.
Hmm... that's pretty cool actually.
Whoa-hoa! Very cool!
HA! VERY Cool!
Or I could give you the long review.
Writer and Actor, Kevin Grevioux crashed into the scene with his screenplay, UNDERWORLD. UNDERWORLD had loads of comic book elements, but it wasn't based on any comic. What gives? Kevin is a long time comic book geek. With the success of the film under his belt, he turned his attention to his first love, comic books. It took a while getting ZMD off the ground with various publishers, but finally Kevin got together with small press publisher, Red 5 Comics.
How cool is his title? So cool that Benderspink (A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE) optioned the sucker. But what does that mean to a comic fan?
The story takes place this year, somewhere in Iran. It's night and all kinds of folks are shooting at each other and no distinction is made between the good guys and the bad guys. The media makes a cursory report of it, but really don't seem interested. High overhead, a stealth bomber eclipses the moon like the Batjet and drops a cargo of tanks with the U.N biohazard symbol on them. The tanks drift out of the night on parachutes, drop into the middle of the fighting, the doors pop off, and varmints come out.
What kind of varmints you say? The title? Yeah, Kevin is completing his triumvirate of the Universal monsters with this tale of fighting zombies. Through the night, the zombies make short work of the gun-totin' fighting folk and then at daybreak, the sun makes short work of them. They turn to ash like Vampires.
The U.S. military comes in to do clean-up, counting the tags to track every zombie and removing the drop tanks. Nobody will ever know we were there.
"This is the way a war should be fought. Quiet, and with only the bad guys bitin' the dust."
- Commanding Officer Kane
With issue one, Kevin took a stance that I hopes he stays with: this is not an evil government conspiracy. The government is doing this because ...
"You have to remember, our number one goal is to preserve the lives of our soldiers. Any way we can."
- Senator Andrew Page, MN.
Kane commands the clean-up and has seen enough American soliders fight and die against suicide bombers who value no life including their own. Using the reanimated dead seems a perfect solution because it spares the lives of American soldiers while taking out the vicious scum bags who slaughter people wholesale. Come the daylight, the zombies dispose of themselves. The problem is taken care of, and the loss of life for innocent people is at minimum.
It must be pretty successful because Kane has only one eye and that's the kind of thing that gets you a medical discharge.
Instead, Kane goes right into the heart of enemy territory to oversee clean-up.
A guy named Barron is part of Kane's team and has misgivings about the whole operation. Reanimating the dead isn't his cup of tea but, unfortunately, he doesn't have any well considered reasons for other alternatives.
"Something about it seems... I don't know--Wrong."
Kane points out that using zombies like this saves a lot of lives, Barron replies, "But at what cost?"
At what cost? More lives are spared! More people are alive than dead! Those who take up arms to oppress others are destroyed! What is Barron's point here? That the dead are more important than the living?
And here I am an organ donor! I'd better take that little pink dot off my driver's license then. Sure the organs from my dead body could save lives, but at what cost? I'm more valuable dead! The character of Barron is an idiot, but you find dumbasses in every group. You can have a coterie of Noble Prize winners and someone in the bunch is going to be the dipshit, by comparison.
So I don't like Barron because, whatever else happens in the upcoming mess, Barron is going to be unreliable and untrustworthy, putting human lives second to pursue his own poorly thought out emotional agenda. I mean, you may not agree with Kane, and he doesn't particularly like the zombie operation either,
"Sweepin' up zombie dust isn't my way of spending an afternoon either. Still it beats stepping on landmines."
- Commanding Officer Kane
but he has solid logical reasons for wanting to fight this way. He values human life and freedom. His intentions are good.
But the road to hell ...
There are people who are immune to nearly every disease you can throw at a human body. Not all of them at once, mind you, just a little here and a little there. A certain fraction of the human population will likely survive just about any one microbe. It's just the way we're built and how genetics works. Grevioux should know, he used to be a microbiologist, working in genetics.
Yes, for a top secret mission, everything goes according to plan. Until they come up one tag short. Payload N-00's tracking tag is missing. Which means that N-00 is missing, which means that he didn't turn to dust in the sun.
This is far more than the embarrassment of having their top secret weapons program exposed. As long as N-00 is active, he's contagious! There is a reason they were supposed to burn to ash in the sunlight.
Oh shit! Now I spoiled it, right? Of course not. I don't do that here! This is only the first issue of a 6 issue limited series and seriously, if you love Science Fiction Horror Thrillers the way I do, and comic books the way I do, then ZMD is going to knock you out. It also doesn't hurt if you are a zombie fiend! The title ZMD: ZOMBIES OF MASS DESTRUCTION, suggests some goofy cornball spoof. Instead the subject matter is treated seriously and it's all the better for it.
Kevin tried to re-write the book on Vampires and Werewolves with UNDERWORLD. Unfortunately, it was directed
like a posturing MTV Gothic soap opera, with the occassional third generation THE MATRIX tropes pasted on top.
This isn't a story about evil government conspiracies or evil corporate conspiracies or any of those other worn-out lazy template tropes. Grevioux' story is about people who may be doing the wrong thing for the best of reasons. People who may be doing the right thing even though they really don't have a reason. In short, it's an intellectually honest tale (possibly more than a story about zombies even deserves!) about fully fleshed out characters. Everyone from interior artists, Geraldo Borges and crew, through to cover artist Paul Ballard combined to make a superior comic book. I hope they continue this quality through the series and on to the movie.
4 Fan Boys.
copyright 2008 E.C.McMullen Jr.
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